Former stunt pilot turned independent crop duster Charley Varrick (Walter Matthau), his wife and his two-man gang rob a bank in a backwater New Mexico town (Tres Cruces) collecting not only the bank’s money but also the loot deposited there illegally by the Mafia.
Pursued by both Police and Mafia, Charley plans a scheme to escape with the loot.
Charley outsmarts his Mafia nemesis, Molly (Joe Don Baker) by imposing his carefully calculated deceptions on top of a world in which nothing is what it appears to be, to begin with: A Chinese waitress turns out to speak perfect English; a Chinese restaurant turns out to be a Mafia front; Charley’s broken leg turns out to be a disguise; a one-legged gun dealer turns out to be a fence and stool pigeon; everyone turns on everyone else so that the only sane thing to do is to live in spiritual isolation, trusting no one – which is exactly what Charley does.
Because the Mafia will hunt him until they think him dead, Charley must not merely win, but successfully fade into obscurity.
Based on the novel The Looters by John Reese.
Joe Don Baker
Sheriff Bill Horton
Craig R. Baxley